SEMPEROPER: THE SEMPER OPERA HOUSE IN DRESDEN
On 12 April 1841, the Dresden Semper Opera House was ceremoniously inaugurated. As befits the occasion, A. Lange & Söhne recalls what was then already a technical marvel: the five-minute clock. It is located above the stage of the Semper Opera House, displaying the hours and minutes. It is highly significant for the brand for two reasons. First, its creator Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes was the apprentice master and father-in-law of watchmaking pioneer Ferdinand Adolph Lange. Second, it inspired the design of the Lange outsize date.
STAMMHAUS: FAMILY DOMAIN OF A. LANGE & SÖHNE IN GLASHÜTTE
The Lange family domain comes with an eventful history: completed in 1873 by the manufacture’s founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who laid the cornerstone for Saxon fine watchmaking, the building was both the residence of the Lange family as well as the birthplace of one-of-a-kind watchmaking masterpieces for more than 70 years – until its expropriation in 1948. The listed family domain has been in operation again for exactly 20 years. It is located in the centre of the watchmaking town of Glashütte, at Ferdinand-Adolph-Lange-Platz 1: a three-storey building from the Gründerzeit economic boom with a bright facade, high windows and striking clock gables. Another special architectural feature pays homage to the pioneer of the craft of watchmaking: a pendulum clock with a three-second precision pendulum that measures nine metres in length and crosses all three storeys in a shaft. The so-called Stammhaus (family domain) of A. Lange & Söhne, where administrative departments are housed today, is by far the oldest part of the manufacture complex.
BRANDENBURGER TOR: THE BRANDENBURG GATE IN BERLIN
The reunification of Germany offered Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the historic opportunity to bring the A. Lange & Söhne brand back to life. In November 1989, Germany celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall. The days of separation and division come to an end. And it is also the end of an involuntary hiatus of over 40 years. Walter Lange immediately starts thinking about the chance for a new beginning for his family business in Glashütte – and makes his dream come true. In 1990, Walter Lange and his visionary partner Günter Blümlein, who played a major role in reviving Glashütte precision watchmaking following Germany’s reunification, made a plan to establish the Lange manufacture anew.
FRAUENKIRCHE: THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY IN DRESDEN
Lange opened its first point of sale in September 2007, directly adjacent to the Dresden Frauenkirche, a landmark of the baroque city which was restored between 1994 and 2005. It expresses a strong commitment to the roots of Saxon precision watchmaking. This is where Ferdinand Adolph Lange worked as a watchmaker before he moved to Glashütte in 1845 with the intention of crafting the world’s finest timepieces in his newly established manufacture.
RESIDENZSCHLOSS: ROYAL PALACE IN DRESDEN
On 24 October 1994, after four years of intensive development work, Lange acquainted the world with its first four models of the new era, the LANGE 1, SAXONIA, ARKADE and TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”, at the Dresden Royal Palace. With the combination of traditional watchmaking artistry and technical innovations, the collection defined new standards and marked the beginning of a new era.
MANUFAKTUR: THE MANUFACTURE IN GLASHÜTTE
Today, the Lange manufacture extends across four main buildings for production and administration. In 2015, a large manufacture building was inaugurated opposite the historical Lange I and Lange II buildings. It represents an urban development at the southern entrance to the town. With its bright and clearly structured façade, the two-winged facility harmoniously blends in with the surrounding historic buildings. Large studio windows with a slight tilt ensure optimal lighting of the workspaces. The watchmakers work in modern workshops with dust-free air. This building is where the watchmakers’ workshops are located and the areas in which the many individual parts for the Lange movements are manufactured. The engraving department is also found here.